Legend: How men lost their tail

In the beginning Pacha created the upper world, where everything hanged upside down. He built the stars and surrounded them with planets, satellites and asteroids. He saw what he had made and he was well pleased so he said: ‘Let there be light’ and the stars lighted up the sky. The next day he created the lower world and all things nearby started to fall on it, so he breathed on it, covering it with a protective halo. He saw what he had made and he was well pleased, so he said: ‘Let there be water’ and the sky cried till the lower world became blue. The next day he created the unicellular organisms, the fungi and the plants. He saw what he had made, and he was well pleased, so he said: ‘Let there be more’ and the organisms spread all over this world. The next day he created all the tailless creatures: Protozoa, worms, echinoderms, coelenterates, molluscs and the anthropodes: Arachnids, crustaceans, insects and myriapods. He saw what he had made, and he was well pleased, so he said: ‘Let there be bustle’ and all the newly born creatures started to build nests and move around killing and eating one another. Now Pacha is sensitive, so when he saw the destruction provoked by his creatures, he got sad and he couldn’t sleep that night. So the next day he created the fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, but decided to make them different from the previous animals. So he bit the tip of his index finger nail off each time he finished an animal and stuck it into its ass. The clip of nail was immediately covered by the animal’s skin, thus becoming its tail. Pacha’s alpha-keratin in the ass of every animal made them share his greatest attribute: his immortality. He saw what he had made, and he was well pleased, so he said: ‘Let there be hustle’ and all the newly born creatures started procreating.

The next day he woke up and saw the world he’d just created filled to capacity with these intemperate creatures and he was concerned, so he decided to get a manager who could take care of it all while he slept. Among mammals were primates, and among primates were men. He reckoned they would be the best managers since they showed a higher capacity of observation and analysis than the other animals, so he gave them the honorable task. Men were exhilarated; they killed the excessive animals, specially the rabbits who managed to reproduce very fast, and ate them. With the mice they needed some help, so they tamed wild cats to help them chase and kill these cunning creatures. They tamed the dog, however, simply for pleasure. Fortunately the food chain kept the overpopulation of the world in check, so men had to worry only about some odd cases of rodents or buffalo growth explosions. Pacha saw the work men were doing and he was well pleased, so he said to them: ‘I see that it was a good idea to give you a tail and make you in my own image. Take care of all the plants and all the animals, those with tail and those without.’ Men got carried away by their well-founded but excessive pride and started to believe that Pacha had created all plants and animals just for their own use and abuse. They didn’t like toads and frogs that much so they cut off their tails. They didn’t like the rest of the apes either, because they tried to resemble them, that is, the tried to take their position as managers of Pacha’s world, so they cut off their tails too. They went on with all the lorises and they had started with the macaques when Pacha saw the trail of tails leading men, and in men’s hands he found knives. ‘What are you doing?’ he exclaimed, and they told him that it was too difficult to manage the animals with tail because they never died, so they’d decided to make them tailless. When he heard this, Pacha was so upset that he bit off men’s tail one by one, but when he didn’t have the heart to kill them. Then he thought that men would take revenge on his creatures, depriving them all of their tales, and this didn’t please him so he said: ‘Let there be death’ and the rest of the animals became mortals too, even though they kept their tales.

by Juan Martin Sanchez


I'm a writer born in Argentina, but currently living in Poland. I work as an English and French teacher, translator and copywriter.

One Comment

  1. @ 6x1y. We don”t dock them anymore. We used to. There”s not much sense in putting them through the trauma. These are St Croix hair sheep. They don”t have the issues that wool sheep have with shit sticking to their tails. They don”t store fat in their tails like many other breeds. And on a completely irrelevant note. It”s fun to watch the lambs wag the shit out of their tails when they nurse. lol 1+

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